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2009 Newsletters


Father's Day Favorites

The Gluten-Free Grad
Tips for a Gluten-Free Graduation Party

Celiac Disease and the R.D.
What a registered dietitian can do for you

A Diagnosis that Changed My Life
One Young Girl's Personal Story

All Things GREAT
Updates on the success of GREAT

2009 Webinar Series Continues
Information on the Next Session

Special Announcements
Information on Two Great Deals

Hot Products
The best gluten-free products

Celiac in the News
Recent news about celiac disease

Become our friend
Join our group
Support our cause

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Note from Alice

NFCA Founder & President

Research Is In The Air!

This year has marked the launch of many new research endeavors that will help us better understand the causes, mechanisms, and treatment of celiac disease. It pleases me tremendously to see so many of NFCA’s Scientific/Medical Advisory Board members making headlines as they lead many of these new celiac research initiatives.

Dr. Bana Jabri, University of Chicago
Last week, I read the University of Chicago’s press release entitled “Multi-Million Dollar Commitment Spurs First-Ever Mouse Model Studies at University of Chicago’s Unique Celiac Disease Center” and I felt like my heart would burst wide open. Four years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Bana Jabri, Associate Professor, University of Chicago Medical Center and one of the world’s leading celiac disease researchers. She expressed her desire to create a ‘mouse model’ that would help us identify the underlying causes of celiac disease and test new therapies. Now, Dr. Jabri’s vision will become reality! Dr. Jabri believes it is essential to create a mouse model of celiac disease to better understand the chain of events leading to celiac disease and its link to autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Bob Anderson, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
In Melbourne, Australia, clinician scientist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), Dr. Bob Anderson, is making great strides in his celiac research. A recognized international leader in the immunology and clinical management of coeliac disease, Dr. Anderson holds doctorate and specialist physician qualifications in internal medicine and gastroenterology. The inventor of four patents that describe the toxic components of gluten and their therapeutic, diagnostic and functional food applications, Dr. Anderson’s research team will begin the Phase 1 clinical trial of an experimental vaccine for the treatment of celiac disease. If successful, it could mean the strict gluten-free diet is a thing of the past. http://www.wehi.edu.au/WEHI_Press/index_single_press.php?id=168

Alba Therapeutics Corporation
Alba Therapeutics is conducting clinical studies with the goal of developing a capsule that mitigates the effects of consuming gluten in small doses.

Dr. Linda Arterburn, Vice President of Development at Alba Therapeutics and Dr. Anderson spoke about their research at NFCA’s Gluten-Free Cooking Spree in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Alessio Fasano was also in attendance. These researchers have dedicated their lives to helping all of us “restore our health and reclaim our lives.” Thank you!


Alice Bast



By: Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian

Simple, healthy, gluten-free cooking.

My Father’s Favorite Father’s Day Dinner

We knew what he wanted; his favorites were easy to list. Green salad with blue cheese dressing and sirloin steak rubbed with coarsely ground black pepper, and he would grill it himself. One side was a baked potato with lots of butter. The skin must be buttered before baking, to make it crispy. No microwaved bakers for him. The other side was simple steamed broccoli, again with butter. And last, but definitely not least, cherry pie with ice cream. Two crusts, traditional, only. Please no tarts, crisps, crumble topping, or extra stuff like almonds or custard. He was a traditional kind of guy.

Much of this meal is easy to do gluten-free. Only the blue cheese salad dressing and the piecrust require special consideration.

First the dressing. This is homemade dressing with lots of chunks of blue cheese that you can actually see and taste. Not a wimpy bottle blue cheese dressing. So, you need to find gluten-free blue cheese. This may require some advance investigation before purchase. Sure Foods Living did a nice blog post on gluten free blue cheese brands in 2007. http://surefoodsliving.com/2007/12/06/is-blue-cheese-gluten-free/ You may or may not be able to get the brands listed, so do not be afraid to contact the customer service number for the brands available to you. In any case, it a good idea to check with the manufacturers again, as products can change.

Blue Cheese Dressing
1 cup light sour cream, full fat or reduced fat
1 cup full fat Hellmann’s mayo
4 oz. blue cheese crumbles
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

Mix it up and enjoy!

This is very thick and can also be used as a dip for veggies. I do not want this to be a commercial for any specific brands. But in terms of mayonnaise, there appears to be a line drawn in the sand in the Midwest, where I am from. Hellmann’s or Miracle Whip? It is defiantly either/or with very strong opinions. We are a Hellmann’s family, never Miracle Whip. That would add a bit of sweetness that we do not care for. However, my husband’s family would only use Miracle Whip. My Dad wanted full fat, not light. This recipe can be made with light mayo, but it seems to thin out over time.

The really problematic dish on the menu is the pie. My mom always bought ready to bake Chef Pierre High Pies from the freezer case, and of course, it was made with wheat. She went to high school with the founder of the company and she did not like to make pie. I inherited that trait from her.  I hate to make pie. The crust is the problem. Rolling the dough and getting it into the pan, ugh. I prefer to make crisps, crumbles, tarts, anything other than pie. So this is a real labor of love for my dad.

I am all about improving the nutrition of the gluten-free diet with whole grain flours instead of highly refined starches. So, I tried coming up with a tasty, easy to work with, mostly whole grain crust. Mind you, I did not want to make 15 versions. That is way too much pie that should not go to waste (waist). So I have one recipe to offer.

Tart Cherry Pie with Sorghum Crust
Yield: one 9 or 10 inch pie

1 cup (2 sticks) frozen butter,
*put butter in the freezer as you are getting everything else ready
1 ½ cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
6 tablespoons tapioca starch
6 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan
½ teaspoon salt
½ to ¾ cup ice-cold water

Cherry filling
6 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries
1 cup sugar
½ cup sweet rice flour

Make the crust:
Put the flours, starches, xanthan, and salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cut the butter into small pieces. Mix the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two forks. Work the butter into the flour until it resembles coarsely ground corn meal.

Add the ice-cold water and mix until you can mold the dough into a smooth ball, with no crumbles. Start with ½ cup water, and add more, a tablespoon at a time. If you add a bit too much water, you can add a bit more flour. Shape the dough into two thick disks, wrap each in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Now comes the fun part. This dough is a bit tricky, but I think all piecrust dough is tricky. Take a deep breath and calm yourself. Generously flour (gluten-free of course) a sheet of parchment paper, or a large non-stick mat. Flour the top of one disk of dough, and cover with another layer of parchment. Roll this out with a rolling pin, making sure it is big enough to cover the pie pan. Uncover the dough, gently put it in the pan, and peel off the paper. Not to worry if the dough cracks. Simply pinch it back together. Leave the overhanging dough alone for now. Set the pan aside and roll out the other disk.

Put the cherries in the dough-lined piecrust. Top the cherries with sugar and sweet rice flour. Put the top crust on the pie. Run a knife around the edge of the pie plate to remove extra dough. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Cut a pretty cherry design in the middle of the crust to let steam and lava like hot filling to escape.

Put the pie on a rimmed cookie sheet to catch any overflow.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 350 and bake for another hour if using fresh cherries. Or up to 1 ½ hours more if using frozen cherries. You want to see red filling oozing out of the crust in spots.

Allow to cool completely before cutting.

I have to say this cherry pie is delicious. And making it is not for sissies. Go ahead and make a cherry crisp, crumble or tart if that is more your speed. Then, top any of them with vanilla ice cream. Many are gluten-free; be sure to read the label.

Or simply eat sweet dark cherries out of hand. That is a real treat, too.

Linda Simon

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The Gluten-Free Grad

By: Christina Gentile, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer

June is a hallmark time to celebrate the end of a school year, especially with the anticipation of summer vacation.  For many students, this time of year could mean something very special, such as graduation from grade school, high school, or college.  And what better way to celebrate and honor this event than a party with loved ones?

Feeding a large group of people a gluten-free menu can be challenge free if you plan and make accommodations.  Many dishes could be made gluten-free for all guests to enjoy, which would help ease the fear of cross-contamination and difficulty in menu planning.  I would suggest dishes that are friendly and easy to make, and that are of course, delicious and appealing.  When planning a graduation party, take into consideration your guest list and whether it will be casual or more formal.  Always consider the number of guests because this is vital in making sure you have enough food…remember, it is better to have more than enough food rather than running out of food!

Appetizers could include “pizza-flavored” mini quiches, tomato-basil bruschetta served on GF bread, tortilla chips with artichoke and roasted pepper dip, fruit and lemon dip, and veggie sticks with GF ranch dressing or yogurt dressing.  Gluten-free main courses could be kept simple, which is important to keep in mind when entertaining a large group of people while preparing, cooking, and serving food!

If you are doing a barbecue, I would suggest making gluten-free turkey burgers or hotdogs (Oscar Meyer Beef Franks or Jennie-O Turkey Store Frozen Turkey Burgers) or veggie burgers (Amy’s Kitchen), and use gluten-free buns such as The Grainless Baker or Kinnikinnick. If you have the time, you could even bake your own gluten-free bread to serve with the meat.  If interested, try my gluten-free Focaccia Bread recipe (see below).  Other dishes could include grilled chicken marinated in lemon and citrus, BBQ chicken, chicken skewers, roasted vegetables and rice, pasta salad, corn on the cob, grilled fish, baked beans, tacos served with GF corn tortillas and an array of toppings, and easy to make romaine dinner salads (lettuce, shredded cheese, cherry tomatoes, and dressing).

For the best part of any menu…dessert…a favorite idea is to have a dessert bar! Depending on your budget, guest list, and menu, you can get really creative with this part of the meal.  You can make a “create your own sundae” area with ice-cream or frozen yogurt, cool whip, M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Sprinkles, Syrup, and Cherries.  You can serve candies and mints that represent the graduate’s school colors, and bake gluten-free cupcakes, brownies, or cookies to serve in addition to the candy and ice cream.  If you do not have time to bake from scratch, you could purchase a few gluten-free mixes, and bake and decorate them in a graduation-themed manner.  For mixes, may I suggest Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Brownie Mix, Pamela's Irresistible Chocolate Brownie Mix, The Gluten-Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix, The Gluten- Free Pantry Old Fashioned Cake Mix, and Kinnikinnick Chocolate Cake Mix.  

Below you will find several recipes for the ideas I suggested in this article.  Remember to always avoid cross-contamination and make sure guests are aware of the importance of keeping gluten-free food gluten free.  If need be, keep the gluten free food separate from the regular food to avoid any possibilities of contamination.  My family and I like to always cook and serve the gluten-free food first, and keep it at a safe distance from the regular food.  

“Pizza-Flavored” Mini Quiches

8 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
1-teaspoon garlic powder
1-teaspoon oregano
¼ cup pasta sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese + ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely minced green pepper
¼ cup minced onion
24 slices of thin-sliced pepperoni

1.    Heat oven to 350° F.
2.    Poke the pepperoni slices into the bottoms of the mini-muffin cups
3.    Cream the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, garlic, and oregano, and beat until smooth. Mix the rest of the ingredients in by hand.
4.    Fill the muffin cups with the egg and cheese mixture.
5.    Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and set in center. Remove from oven, and cool for a few minutes (5-10), then run a knife around the top to loosen (I use a plastic knife for my nonstick pan). Remove to a plate.

Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Dip
2 red bell peppers
2 artichokes (1 pound)
12 cups water
3 lemon slices
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1/8-teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely crumbled feta cheese

1.    Preheat broiler.
2.    Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, discarding seeds. Place pepper halves, skin side up on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil for 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 20 minutes. Peel and set aside.
3.    Cut off artichoke stems, and remove bottom leaves.   Bring water, lemon slices, and bay leaf to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add artichokes; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until a leaf near the center of each artichoke pulls out easily.  Drain well; discard lemon and bay leaf. Set aside.
4.    Combine bell peppers, oil, mustard, and vinegar in a blender; process until smooth. Combine bell pepper mixture, dried basil, and black pepper.  Spoon 2/3 cup into a serving bowl; sprinkle with feta.  Serve with artichokes.  Cover and chill remaining dip.
Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread

1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon  sugar
1 ¼ cup warm water
4 eggs
¼ cup olive oil
1-teaspoon vinegar
Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Sea salt  

1.    Mix the water, eggs, and olive oil.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes.  Add more water if it is too dry.  The dough should be very soft and sticky.
2.    Transfer the dough to a large cookie sheet.
3.    Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and Italian seasoning.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Skewers (adapted from Epicurious)

8 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (each about 7 ounces)
48 8-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
1 1-pint basket grape tomatoes or small cherry tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh lemon juice
6 bay leaves, broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup light mayonnaise

1.    Cut each chicken breast half lengthwise into 6 thin strips. Thread each strip completely onto 1 skewer, leaving 1/2 inch of skewer exposed at 1 end. Press 1 grape tomato onto end of skewer. Divide skewers between two 15x10x2-inch glass baking dishes, stacking skewers if necessary.
2.    Pour oil into bowl. Whisk in next 6 ingredients. Pour marinade over chicken. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature, turning often, or cover and chill overnight.
3.    Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove skewers from marinade and arrange on 2 large rimmed baking sheets; reserve marinade. Bake chicken until just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to platter.
Transfer reserved marinade to medium saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat 1 minute. Cool marinade 15 minutes. Strain. Pour 1/2 cup marinade into medium bowl; whisk in mayonnaise. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon remaining marinade over chicken to moisten. Serve chicken with sauce.

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Celiac Disease and the R.D.

By: Lynn Cicero, Registered Dietitian

A panel was convened by the National Institutes of Health in 2004 to assess all of the available scientific evidence on celiac disease.  One of the recommendations of the panel was “consultation with a skilled Registered Dietitian.”   As a Registered Dietitian specializing in celiac, I find that my role is multifaceted.  First and foremost, I help persons with celiac separate the “wheat from the chaff.” (a little gluten-free humor!). 

The Internet is a valuable source of information on celiac disease. However, it is a double-edged sword. The Internet does not separate evidence-based information from other less valid types of information.  It is distressing to find celiacs unnecessarily eliminating foods that are perfectly safe.   The misconceptions about the gluten-free diet are numerous and spread like wildfire on Internet sites. Patients can be very relieved to find out that they need not avoid licking envelopes!  I provide celiacs with a solid list of evidence-based resources.

My second job is to evaluate and explain nutrition related laboratory findings.  Patients are rightly concerned about anemia and how to resolve it.  They will also receive an explanation of the antibody titers as well.  While in most cases the gastroenterologist has given the diagnosis to the patient, it is my job to deliver the real news.  I do so in as positive and upbeat a manner as possible.  I help persons with celiac find an answer to the big question: “So now what do I eat?”  Patients leave my office with a loose-leaf binder of resources for education, products, travel and dining away from home.  With twenty-three years of counseling patients for various nutrition related diagnoses, I thought I had seen it all. 

The gluten-free diet is by far the most challenging.  I need to “walk it as well as talk it.”  I have had to research cooking methods, try new and unfamiliar grains, shop for gluten-free products and learn how to adapt the gluten-free diet to the average American lifestyle.  Many of today’s Americans consume many meals away from home.  Today, the reasons for travel include business trips as well as pleasure.  My patients need practical tips on dealing with these situations and they need them immediately .  In a culture where home cooked meals are becoming a thing of the past, persons with celiac need quick and easy to prepare meals.  Addressing ways to meet the cost of gluten-free foods has become even more important with the state of today’s economy.  Another of my roles is to encourage first degree relatives to be tested.

Studies have shown that consultation with a knowledgeable Registered Dietitian improves celiacs quality of life and compliance with the gluten-free diet.  The dietitian also addresses the need for follow-up. Many celiacs fall through the cracks here. The diagnosis is made by a specialist who does not see the patient continuously.   The primary care physician may not know that antibody titers need to be repeated to monitor progress or about other recommended tests to be done. It is with follow-up that the dietitian can play an important role.  The patient also needs a sympathetic source for answers to common concerns such as the length of time needed to experience improvement of symptoms.

Parents need guidance on informing schools and their personnel on the unique needs of the student with celiac disease.  Guidance writing a 504 Plan can help ease a parent’s concerns about sending their celiac child off to school environment.

In the past, many in the celiac community have had unfortunate experiences consulting nutrition professionals who were not knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet. That situation is rapidly changing as dietitians as well as physicians, pharmacists, nurses and others in the medical community are being educated as to the real occurrence of celiac in our population.  Before making an appointment with a dietitian, ask if he or she has experience or advanced training in the gluten-free diet.

With the gluten-free diet, I am a teacher, coach and cheerleader.  A diagnosis of celiac disease has a far reaching psycho-social impact.  A positive attitude is infectious.  Turning bewilderment into knowledge and a positive attitude is the reward of my professional endeavors.  As a health professional, I find tremendous satisfaction in every patient whose life becomes better through my intervention.


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A Diagnosis That Changed My Life

By: Heather Thompson

It was just an ordinary check-up, or so we thought.  Every year my mom takes me to my pediatrician for an annual physical examination.  That particular year, 2002, we were about six months late in making the appointment, and it turned out to be a good thing.  I was five years old and the doctor noticed that my growth was not on track for that year, so he wanted to see me back in another six months.  Little did I know that the next appointment would be the first of many doctor’s appointments over the next several years, as we sought the diagnosis that would change my life forever.

When I failed to reach my target height again, my pediatrician, Dr. McCown, sent me to an endocrinologist to be evaluated for growth hormone deficiency.  As it turned out, my growth curve plotted from birth was a downward slope and that certainly wasn’t normal.  When they reviewed my blood work, it looked as if I had partial growth hormone deficiency; however, over the next six months, I began to grow and they decided that was not the problem.

Over time, I began to have other problems and saw other specialists, including a pediatric rheumatologist at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  I also saw two ENTs (Ear, Nose and Throat specialists) in Birmingham, AL, one of whom removed my tonsils and adenoids, which were very large.  (Could it have been obstructive sleep apnea that affected my growth?)  Throughout all of this, my stomach was hurting me.  I didn’t mention it because my stomach had been hurting as long as I could remember, and I thought it was normal to feel that way.  It finally got so bad that I knew something was wrong.  That’s when a miracle happened…

My whole family had been praying for me to find out what was wrong and why I had been feeling so badly.  Then one day, while at her work as a hospital pharmacist, my mom overheard a conversation about Celiac Disease and she began to research.  What she learned about the disease reminded her of her own medical history and, since Celiac Disease is a genetic disorder, she wondered if she had solved the mystery of my illness.  

My pediatrician was quick to check my blood for evidence of the disease.  He was looking for antibodies that people with Celiac Disease produce.  Within a few days, he called to inform us that we finally had an answer.  But, I was still one step away from having my diagnosis confirmed.  I needed to have a biopsy to see if my small intestines were damaged.  I was sent to Dr. Cavender, my gastroenterologist, who told us my antibody levels were the highest he had ever seen.  He scheduled the biopsy for the very next day, January 4, 2007, at The Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL.

I sat in the lobby nervously thinking about what was going to happen.  Then my name was called.  The nurse took me to my room and explained to me what Dr. Cavender was going to do.  When Dr. Cavender and his assistants were ready, they took me into the operating room.  The doctor put me under anesthesia, everyone gathered around me, and I quickly dozed off to sleep.  After the biopsy, I was taken back to my parents.  I remember the doctor coming in to tell us about the severe damage he saw in my small intestines, which is unusual because you usually have to use a microscope to see the damage.  This confirmed the diagnosis.

I had just begun to understand that Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder, which means that my immune system was attacking my own body, particularly my intestines.  This was happening because I am sensitive to gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, barley, and commercial oats.  Unlike other diseases where you take medicine to control your symptoms, to treat Celiac Disease you must change your diet.  I had a lot to learn about my new diet, but I knew my mom could help me as she had already begun to eat gluten-free.  My mom asked me that day if I wanted to eat one more meal with gluten before I went on the diet, which will be for the rest of my life.  But I refused for I had suffered long enough.

I quickly learned how to eat gluten-free, and as I adapted to the diet, my body began to heal.  Six months after the biopsy, I had grown 2 ½ inches and gained eleven pounds.  I no longer live with a stomach ache.  Even though it is hard sometimes to not eat what everyone else around me is eating, I remind myself how horribly I felt when I ate gluten.  And I hope that other children will finally learn why they are feeling so badly too.  I am thankful to God for leading me to the diagnosis that changed my life forever.

Heather Thompson
Pelham, AL

Heather attends Evangel Classical Christian School in Alabaster, AL. She is in Christy Brasher's 5th grade class. This story was written as part of an assignment called the "Personal Experience Essay".

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All Things GREAT: Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training

2009 National Restaurant Association Hotel-Motel Show

An NFCA led panel of gluten-free industry experts presented ‘Gluten-Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base,” before a filled room of over 100 industry representatives at the annual National Restaurant Association conference.

This distinguished panel of gluten-free experts were successful in raising awareness about the special gluten-free dietary needs of those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and educating those in the food and food service industry on how to safely and successfully accommodate gluten-free customers.

“Gluten-Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base” was selected by NRA as one of 65 education sessions to be held during their 2009 Show, which showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event.   

For more information, visit the National Restaurant Association Show web site, www.restaurant.org/show.

To read about the ‘Gluten-Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base’ panel, check out the industry publication, Fast Casual.
For information on NFCA’s trip to the 2009 NRA Show and participation in the ‘Gluten-Free on the Menu, Expanding Your Customer Base’ presentation, visit www.beyondceliac.org.

Thoughts from the 2009 National Restaurant Association Hotel-Motel Show
By NFCA Director of Education, Nancy Baker

It is a thrill to watch someone “get it.”  For most people on a gluten-free diet, there are many experiences of someone not understanding or not caring about the products and processes of preparing a gluten-free meal. This month, it was a pleasure to put together a panel of speakers for this year’s National Restaurant Association Show and observe the audience move from interest to investment!


Roughly 35 attendees were expected by the NRA for the panel.  In fact, the group spoke to a standing room only audience of over 100 decision makers within the restaurant industry.   The goal of our panel was to give gluten-free solutions in response to perceived implementation problems within the food-service industry.  We emphasized that the gluten-free demand is a permanent market shift and there are quality accessible support-systems in place to guide the industry to the next level of commitment.  

Our generous panel consisted of:

·    Nancy Baker:  NFCA.
·    Melanie Berkowitz:  Mother of two children with celiac disease.
·    Cynthia Harriman:  Whole Grains Council.
·    Robert Hapanowicz:  GFNaturals.
·    Sharon Fratilla:  Across the Board Resources.
·    Don Tymchuck:  Med-Diet and Food Service Express


Our panelists not only showed their role in the industry, but helped emphasize the need for both availability and quality.  From the overwhelming response we have had we know the crowd “got it”.   Many have come forward to be vested players in changing the gluten-free industry.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a researcher looking into a pharmaceutical cure for celiac disease and to make progress.  In the mean time, our treatment is the gluten-free diet.  What a privilege it is to be able to participate in an activity, which can directly affect our quality of life.  Stay tuned…the best is yet to come! 

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The NFCA's 2009 Gluten-Free LifestyleWebinar Series Continues

The NFCA’s Gluten-free Lifestyle Webinar Series is sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers Nut-thin Crackers.

We are still hard at work planning the next Webinar session! Be sure to check our "Education" tab  for frequent updates on upcoming information sessions

We hope you will all register and join us for one of these fantastic and informational sessions!

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Special Announcements

NFCA invites all celiac sports fans to our 2009 Celiac Awareness Night with the Philadelphia Phillies! Join us at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, July 20th 2009 and watch the 2008 World Champions take on the Chicago Cubs at 7:05pm.   

*As always, gluten-free stadium treats will be available!

Tickets can be purchased online through the Phillies box office (www.phillies.com/celiac) or by phone at (215) 463- 5000 ext. 5111. There are a variety of ticket prices and seating options available. Be sure to enter the promotional code ‘CELIAC’ to guarantee that proceeds from your ticket sales go to support raising celiac awareness!

The NFCA has a rich tradition of partnering with local celiac support organizations to host these wonderful nights filled with food, fun, and all the excitement surrounding professional sporting events. We hope you will purchase your tickets today and join us July 20th for what is sure to be a wonderful evening at the ballpark.

To purchase your tickets, please go to the Phillies box office website and enter the promotional code ‘CELIAC’.

*Special Discount

Starting June 1 - June 30th, Domata Living Flour is offering a 10% discount on products, purchased online.

The code for the discount coupon is:  ENLTSR-6 

It must be used as it is spelled here or it will not work.  This coupon is for retail customers only, not wholesale customers.


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Kari-Out Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
Ask anyone that knows me, and he or she will tell you that I cannot live without sushi or the delicious, salty soy sauce that is traditionally served with it.  After being diagnosed with celiac, it became the norm for me to tuck a bottle of gluten-free tamari in my purse and gingerly pull it out at Japanese restaurants, much to the dismay of the wait staff. Then, my dear friend’s mother introduced me to Kari-Out Gluten-Free Soy Sauce packets and they drastically decreased the funny looks given to me while dining out. They are just like the soy sauce packets that you get with Chinese take-out, except gluten-free! I always keep a couple of them in my purse for spontaneous meals out.  For just 59 cents each (or you can buy in bulk), visit:

Glutino Premium Bagels
One of my favorite things to eat for Sunday brunch is a toasted bagel lathered with cream cheese and topped with lox and chives.  I have tried a few brands of gluten-free bagels and I have to say that with several of them I haven’t been too impressed.  However, I recently tried Glutino’s Premium Gluten-Free Bagels and I was delighted. They are a little high in calories (approximately 440 calories per bagel) but every once in a while I treat myself.  They really resemble the texture of wheat-based bagels and they toast up nicely.  I like to keep mine in the fridge as opposed to the freezer because I think they stay better that way.  Glutino offers their bagels in plain, sesame, poppy seed and cinnamon raison. I’ve seen Glutino products in many stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes.  They are currently developing a store locator feature on their website, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, you can order at:
http://www.glutenfree.com/Glutino-Premium-Plain-Bagels/Item102009M and as always for more information visit www.glutino.com

Lundberg Rice Chips
I’m big on grazing throughout the day, so I am always looking for healthy snacks to keep with me at work or take on hikes or picnics. Recently, I have been snacking on Lundberg’s Rice Chips and I love them.  I have tried almost all the flavors and they are all equally satisfying. They offer Sea Salt, Sesame and Seaweed, Fiesta Lime, Pico de Gallo, Honey Dijon, Santa Fe Barbeque, Nacho Cheese and Wasabi. No matter what your pallet, you can find a flavor you like.  They are crunchy and delicious and remind me of pita chips, which I used to love.  They are great for dipping in hummus or serving with cheese.  I’ve bought them right at my local Giant, so they are pretty widely available.  But, if you can’t find them near you, visit:

Annie’s Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese
I don’t know many people, children and adults alike (without dairy intolerances, of course) that don’t love mac and cheese! Annie’s Gluten-Free Cheddar Mac and Cheese is by far the best boxed version I have tried. For a creamier cheese mix, I like to add a little melted butter and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese to it when mixing it with the hot noodles.  It’s delicious! I have always loved Annie’s products because they are typically a healthier choice than some other brands.  This product is great to have on hand for quick dinners, side dishes or lunches. You can find Annie’s products in many mainstream stores like Whole Foods and at various health food stores.  You can also order online at:

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Celiac in the News

The Latest In Communion Wafers – Gluten-Free
Last weekend, I attended my aunt’s wedding, which was in a Catholic church. The ceremony included the taking of Communion, which involves eating a small wheat-based wafer.  I found myself wondering how many individuals must refrain from partaking in this religious ritual due to celiac disease. Just a day after I returned, I found this article and found it to be very interesting.  After being diagnosed with celiac, Robert Snow could no longer take Communion. However, his church, St. Gregory's Episcopal in Boca Raton, recently began offering wheat-free communion wafers for people who cannot digest grains. To learn more about other churches that are offering these wafers and how they came about, visit:

Simple Survey Assesses Adherence to Gluten-Free Diet
A recently developed questionnaire may be effective in evaluating gluten-free diet adherence among individuals with celiac disease.  This research is published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Daniel Leffler of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and his fellow researchers discuss their work to develop the questions (called the Celiac Dietary Adherence Test, or the CDAT). “This subjective, patient-completed tool can be used alone or in conjunction with biological markers to assess dietary adherence and disease activity in individuals with celiac disease. Standardized instruments such as the CDAT will be essential in future clinical research studies of celiac disease.” To learn more, visit:

Prometheus Announces New Findings Regarding Patients at Risk for Celiac Disease at DDW
At a presentation at this year’s Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, Prometheus Laboratories, a specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company, announced new findings regarding a correlation between an important serologic marker used in the detection of Crohn's disease and particular genetic markers in patients at risk for celiac disease. "The results from this study show that an overly aggressive immune response to particular bacteria in the intestine, as in Crohn's disease, may contribute to the inflammation seen in patients with celiac disease." To learn more about this study, visit:

Experiments Underway for New Celiac Treatment
A drug for the treatment of celiac disease is currently in the experimental testing phase. The medicine is a capsule, which is a tight junction regulator. Doctor Anthony J. DiMarino, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is heading the study at Jefferson on the experimental medicine called larazotide acetate. He says, so far, the capsule seems to keep those spaces or tight junctions between cells closed so gluten can’t get in. “It seems to be blocking the things you want it to block. Patients seem to be able to tolerate the gluten with minimal or no side effects.”

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